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This Week in Defense

News/Business. Guests from the Defense Department, Congress and the defense industry.

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CBS

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00:30:00

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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Us 8, U.s. 7, Okinawa 7, United States 6, At&t 5, America 4, Obama 3, Kenya 3, Robert Gates 2, Bruce Clinger 2, Bush 2, Suntrust 2, Shannon Gilrees 2, North Korea 2, Asia 2, Maersk Alabama 2, South Korea 2, Washington 2, Somalia 2, Korea 2,
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  CBS    This Week in Defense    News/Business. Guests from the Defense  
   Department, Congress and the defense industry.  

    November 22, 2009
    11:00 - 11:30am EST  

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remember when connections to the internet sounded like this - when high speed internet was out of reach of most american families and small businesses? as recently as the year 2000, only three percent of american families had high speed internet. then competition drove innovation - spurred private investment, and the internet took off - at record breaking speeds. at at&t we're taking the lead - investing some thirty-eight billion dollars in our wired and wireless networks over the past two years. last year alone we invested more than any other public company in america. and at at&t we support a national plan that makes high speed internet available to every american family in the next five years - because we know that now is not the time to stall momentum or to stifle innovation or investment. the future is at stake, and at at&t, the future has always been
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and at at&t, the future has always been our business. at&t... your world... delivered. now this week in defense news with vago muradian. >> good morning and welcome to this week in defense news. i'm vago muradian. some u.s. national guard units in afghanistan are fighting a different kind of war with shovels and fertilizer. we'll look at the role farming is playing on the role on terror. will president obama's visit bring iran back to the negotiating table. pirates back in the news. the same ship that was the center of a dramatic rescue
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fought off another somali pirate. how is the united states refining its anti-piracy strategy. the coast guard is bringing apprehended pirates to justice. how to fend off attacks. commander shannon gilrees, chief of prevention log group. commander, welcome to the show. >> thank you, sir. >> so how is the united states refining its anti-piracy campaign. >> we'll continue to adapt to what the pirates are throwing at us as far as their techniques. we are working with the maritime industry to try to answer their questions about how we can help them address the problems in the region. we're also working with interagency -- agency by that i mean the department of defense, department of state, the maritime administration, other agencies -- >> the justice department as well? >> the justice department as well. we're working to refine that
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policy to adapt the policies the pirates are using. >> prosecuting captured pirates has been a challenge. you can't drop them off in somalia for trial, for example. what is going on in that front in terms of cooperation the united states is striking with other country in the region to bring these guys to justice. >> we established a memorandum of agreement with the government of kenya. we're thankful for that. they're in the region that is willing to work with us to take pirates that are captured that we may interdikt that don't attack u.s. flag ships but a foreign flagship. turn them over to kenya and kenya will prosecute them in their local court. we continue to support, however, the concept that the victim states, and that would be the flag states of the foreign flag ship that was attacked or potentially the flag state of the -- or the state that the
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mariners are from, we support their prosecution, much like we did in the original mayorsing original mearsk alabama case. >> do people understand how staggering complicated this. that adds huge challenge to how you go about prosecuting this, doesn't it? >> it adds for potential of different people wanting to be involved or nation-states being involved. we had some success in working in that region through the international maritime organization and a pros spes called jabuti code which, is a regional agreement with some of the nation states. that would be jabuti, omen, egypt, somalia and other countries, to potentially prosecute pirates that were
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captured, but also to develop counter-piracy within their own country, so they can interdikt and stop pirates themselves. >> u.s. strategy has been to treat the pirates as terrorists rather than anything else and the united states is never going to be negotiating with them. spain paid that $3.3 million ransom to get their ship released. can piracy be licked if they feel they can still seize ships. >> clearly if you're going to reward pirates by giving them ransom money, that's going to add to the problem enstead of instead of reducing the problem. >> does the -- in terms of changing tactics, this is kind of a constant game where pirates are changing their tactics and we're changing our defensive strategies. how are we responding? whatted advice are you giving to shipping operators in terms of responses. >> it is important to point out,
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we believe, the coast guard believe, the responsibility rests first with the owners and operators of the vessels themselves. we had the maersk alabama was successful. we're going to continue to evaluate where the pirates are operating at. we've seen the attacks change from just gulf of aegean, to being out further in the ocean ocean. recently there have been more attacks towards the saychelles area. whether they're reacting to other issues we have to evaluate that. >> are we expecting to see a drop in the winter season as the weather gets recover in the region. >> weather is one of the primary factors. we finished the monsoon season so that resulted in a reduction
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in the number of pirate attacks. >> increasingly ships are posting armed guards on them, mike in the maersk alabama case. is an instantaneous response the best way to deal with the attack? >> it will vary between the different ships. the approach we've taken is that the ships submit a vessel security plan to us to review and there is a threat assessment that addresses anti-piracy techniques. it is not a one size fits all approach. the ship operator gets to determine what works best for them. we give companies an option to carry security that is unarmed or armed. both of those techniques worked effectively combined with other techniques they're using that we call the best management practices so to speak of the industry. >> sir, thanks very much for
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joining us. commander shannon gilrees. you're watching this week in defense news week. >> stay tuned for vago's notebook coming up later in the show.
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right now, she's saving money and it's not by giving haircuts at home that she does for fun she's found an easier way to save so easy, it's automatic with suntrust, she sets aside money every month without having to think about it which is good because her boys would really appreciate her full attention right about now more and more people are turning to suntrust to help them live solid and bank solid
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eight out of 10 afghans make their living at r as farmers and use centuries' old techniques. new development teams are working to transform subsistence farms into mass production operations that will turn afghans away from the lure of poppy sales and toward the production of valuable food crops. made up of guard members that are in mechanical engineering
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and other skills these units are deployed to three provinces to demonstrate that profitable farming is a key to a stable economy and peaceful avenue afghanistan. i have the program manager for president agr-business. >> what is the state of afghanistan's farming skills right now and is this a question of equipment or of more modern science? >> the state of afghan's farming skills are baseline very good. they are excellent at putting a seed into the ground and getting a nominal amount of water to it, to make it grow. however, the challenge all the post-harvest skills and techniques that we take advantage of and take for granted every day here in the united states, not so much in afghanistan. so we attempt with our guardsmen to really focus on efforts improving their post-harvest skills. >> and is this more of an equipment, for example, when you
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talk about post-harvest, is this talking about trucks that can get stuff to market or just basic storage skills and other things. >> we're interested in bringing about technical support and advice and education. our number one goal with our agr-business development teams is to provide coaching and mentoring and advice. that is something the civilian side of the guard brings very well to our efforts in afghanistan. the other aspect of it is with state department and u.s. aid are doing to build roads, farm to market roads in afghanistan so we can get higher yields off of the crop and that eventually goes to market and the afghans can make more mvenlt it is important we have the infrastructure and the knowledge, both. >> how is this helping to stabilize afghanistan at a base level? >> if you take a look at providing the rural part of afghanistan with a stable way to make extra money instead of hand
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to mouth farming, over time those people then will stay on the farm, they won't be enticed to work for the counter-insurgency that is so prolific in many parts of afghanistan. what i call the fence-sitter farmers will stay with illicit crops as long as we provide the technology and support to them. it is important for us to work the margins of that farmer who may slip to the poppy-growing, and keep him with the farming and giving him the teak knicks and tools to do that through -- techniques and tools to do that. >> you mention poppy-growing. there is a legitimate question by some that if you improve the afghan farming skills can that make them more efficient poppy-growers for example. >> we're not interested in competing with the
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poppy-growers. i go back to the back to most of our connection with farmers is in the non-poppy-growing regions. we'll start with a team in regional command south here next year which is more towards the poppy-growing area. but most of our early success has been with farmers who clearly needed help with getting marginal farmland and skills back up to afghan farmers were 40 or 50 years ago. >> right. bringing them back on line. why is this a military mission? why is this not a state department or department of agriculture issue? >> it is a two facetted mission. you have air and army guard and soldiers and airmen working in afghanistan and other military folks focussed in helping rebuild and revitalize afghan agri-business and infrastructure. so we bring the civilian skillset, the very mature
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civilian skillset from the national guard to afghanistan and we utilize those skills, and apply that directly again to helping the afghans advance their skills. houf the civilian side of the government approach to afghanistan in improving their ability to farm is also being brought forth. usda and us aid are i guess you would say filing on, and so the guard has been the catalyst, if you will, to bring the rest of our civilian brothers and sisters along to really help the afghan farmer advance. >> in the tiny amount of time left, how self-sustaining is this program once the united states leaves. >>. >> that is a great question. one of the things we use is a criteria for any of the projects we work with as afghans. if we left tomorrow, can they sustain the very thing we thought them how to do and so you cannot take away the education of the technical
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transfer that one gets from working with these guardsmen over time. and you cannot take away the infrastructure that we develop that given their capabilities, and so when we take a look at a project, first of all, we it be sustained? if it is a yes, then we carry on with the project and that has been successful for us. >> colonel, thanks. up, president obama trip to asia. you're watching this week in defense news.
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president obama made his first swing through asia on a week long trip. in south korea the president aimed at getting north korea to abandon its nuclear programs. the president plans to send a special envoy to north korea in
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april. in japan the new ruling government wants to reduce troop presence in okinawa. defense secretary robert gates told japan's leadership to move on and that the deal was binding. what is next in japan and the korea. bruce clinger worked for the cia and defense intelligence agency. he is doing the same for heritage foundation. welcome to the show. what is next in terms of what's going to go on with pyongyang. >> steven bossworth will go to that area and find out if they affirm their pledge to abandon their nuclear arsenal. >> is this good behavior at the time the cop is in the neighborhood and once the cop leaves north korea returns to its old ways. >> they have their two-paged playbook. one is provocation and the other is conciliatory behavior. we're on page two which is
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alternating the first six months of provocations. nuke clee launch and tests and others. >> washington resisted one on one talks. why has it resisted those one on one talks and what is the downside of engaging in them? >> one of the reasons we resisted is because washington receives such strong criticism after the agreed framework which is a bilateral u.s. korea agreement. south korea he said the u.s. is negotiating the security over their heads. president bush and president obama said well we need to have all of north korea's neighbors affected by the nuclear threat at the table because they each have their own policies and priorities. we need everyone there at the table. >> what is the downside of seeming to cut them out or engaging in direct talks? >> japan and south korea are very nervous that some deal might be made. they're nervous because ambassador chris hill who is president bush's envoy engaged in what our allies saw as secret
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agreements. no matter how the u.s. talked with them they felt they were being kept secrets from. the obama administration has i think leaned forward in trying to coordinate with them as much as possible to ensure them that they are a firm part of the six-party talks. so any trip by ambassador bossworth have to be in close word nation with our allies. >> moving to japan, united states-japan very -- after being, you know, having a war-time history. but the new government came in, pledging to essentially break the 2006 basing agreement on okinawa. secretary gates gave his two cents on it and so as president obama. and japanese leadership is beginning to backtrack. what is the next step in this sort of saga, you know, on okinawa where you have a huge number of american troops squeezed into a densely populated island.
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>> it is a difficult issue. conflicting local constituent concerns in okinawa, the local government, dpj, vowed to reduce the burden on the okinawa people. but we don't know what it is. conflicting statements by their defense minister, foreign affairs minister. the prime minister contradicts himself. it is unsure what the dpj wants. they're seeing no alternative. others in the ruling party say not only move the marine air corps wing off of okinawa but all u.s. forces off of oek. we have a range of use. it is unclear where the dpj will come down. >> one of the points president obama that part of japan's
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prosperity is from america. >> it would make it more difficult for the u.s. to live up to its treaty obligations which are not only to defend japan but to maintain peace and stability into the area. if we move them into guam, you're further away from the potential conflict zone. for example, for an f-22 it takes three separate refuelings to go from guam to okinawa let alone into the potential conflict zone. same as with marine helicopters it would be more difficult to defend japan. >> what is next in the u.s.-japan alliance that are problematic? there are supporters who say they have -- they don't have government experience. so it is to be understood you have these conflicting views. there are others who say, look, these guys don't know what they're doing. what are the challenges we're facing downstream. >> we have military operational
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issues, force realignment issue and nuclear transparency. the new government wants to look at the secret nuclear agreements that in the past the u.s. with nuclear weapons on board ships in port , the status of forces agreement, you know, some other, you know, other legal issues that will be in the near-term. also japanese support to afghanistan. will they just write another check as they pledged $5 billion, which is very welcome, but there is even questions whether they want to put sneakers on the ground let alone boots on the ground. i think over time we have a new government with a very different strategic vision from the united states. so i think a differing priorities, a different vision, a different way of looking at future security issues that we can't right now predict. i think we have a greater potential for strain. >> bruce, thanks very much for joining us, bruce clinger from the heritage foundation. coming up, my notebook. my sunglasses.
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one of defense secretary robert gates' is, don't let enemy be the anatomy of good. new weapons become mierd in
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development. developers sought 100% solutions. that is not the most effective approach especially in wartime. true, some solutions have been quickly fielded but broader change is needed. the new research and development chief made loud and clear this week that combatant commanders would like 70% solutions than wait years for new ones. this is a long overdue shift in thinking. development delays left aging increasingly expensive and inadequate systems in place with degraded capabilities while waiting for new perfect solutions, setting up a vicious cycle cuts money for replacements. emphasis of quick solutions can come at the expense of investing in future needs. complex solutions that stretch the boundaries of being able to defend and win wars. you can watch this program online. i'll be back next sunday morning at 11:00. have a great week.
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